Friday, July 10, 2015

The Speaker One-Sheet is NOT Dead!

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

I heard someone say recently that the speaker one-sheet was dead. Well, just as Mark Twain said reports of his death were greatly exaggerated, reports of the death of one-sheets is exaggerated as well. 

The truth is, one-sheets have simply taken on a new medium—the download.

I know I'm showing my age here, but when I first began speaking, event planners wanted a printed one-sheet and the ability to listen to cassette tapes of a full presentation. 

Then it went to CDs of full presentations. Then CDs of full presentations with excerpts from other presentations. Then it went to DVDs of presentations. Today event planners want a short (1-3 minutes) YouTube or other-hosted video reel of our speaking in a variety of settings. It's often at this point that the event planner will make the first cut and decide who she wants to investigate further.

But that doesn't mean the one-sheet is dead. After the event planners watch the videos and determine the first cut, then they will often visit or revisit our websites, looking for our one-sheets. If the one-sheet seems to be a good fit as well and we're in the final group to be considered, they will often download and print out the one-sheet for each of the team members or at least have the members look at it. At that point, it's likely the ladies will look at the video links and the one-sheets together and make their final decision, or at least their next cut.

The good news is, this means we don't have to spend hundreds of dollars in printing one-sheets. (The last batch of one-sheets I had printed—years ago—ran at least $1 each!) And depending on your graphic art skill level, it may mean you need to invest in a professionally-prepared one-sheet. But whether you pay to have them created or you do them yourself, just remember, it's a reflection of you, so make it as professional as possible.

Then make sure it's visible on your website and can be easily downloaded. And don't forget, since Word files with photos and a variety of fonts will often lose their formatting when downloaded, be sure you upload your one-sheet as a PDF file and then print it out to make sure it maintains its formatting.

So there you have it. There's no need to grieve the death of the one-sheet. But there is reason to take a hard look at your sheet and make sure it's a good representation of you and your ministry. It could be the difference between a quick pass or a long-term commitment...with the simple click of a mouse.

So what do you think? Do you have a one-sheet? Do you think you need one? I hope you’ll join the conversation!


Vonda Skelton is a speaker and the author of four books: Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the 3-book Bitsy Burroughs mysteries for children 8-12 yo. She’s the founder and co-director of Christian Communicators Conference, offering speakers’ training and community for Christian women called to ministry. Vonda is a frequent instructor at writer’s conferences and keynotes at business, women’s, and associational events. You can find out more about Vonda, as well as writing opportunities and instruction at her writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den at


  1. Having a one sheet available on your website is a great idea Vonda! That sure would make it easier for an agent, editor or event planner to locate it!

    I hadn't thought about the pdf file versus a word document. Great reminder!

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Mary. And yes, I wish I could take credit for the PDF versus Word doc tip, but I heard someone else recommend it and have heard it from others as well. I truly does make a difference!

  2. Great ideas. I'm just starting to speak on my book, so need all the help I can get. I'll put these ideas to good use. . .it's all about sharing God's Good News.

    1. Yes, it is, Carol! We must use every opportunity available to lift up His Great Name! Thanks for your comment!

  3. I am in the process of updating mine now. It is a first impression many times - so I know it needs to be good. Would you list just a few topics that you speak about along with a short description? Or is it better to list just the titles, knowing they need to go to your website anyway.

  4. Great advice! Really enjoyed your presentations at the Mid-South Christian Writer's workshops!